How to become a journalist

One of my very favorite websites is Grammar Girl’s section of “Quick and Dirty Tips.” This website offers, you guessed it, the short answer on how to do pretty much anything. And Mignon Fogarty’s specialty is exactly the type of “quick and dirty” I need in my life as a copy editor.

But how did I become a copy editor?

That’s a long story better answered by my resume and a look through my portfolio (some of which you can find under “my work” above). But here’s what I tell anyone who emails CT asking “how do I become a Christian journalist?”

 The number one thing I would recommend is to start with a blog and build your social media presence. The more you write, the better you will write. It’s a muscle you have to build over a long period of time. Get a loyal group of readers and followers, then pitch editors at smaller publications, working your way up. It means having to write for free at first, but those bylines add up so by the time you get to pitching CT, you have plenty of previous articles to send me. If you’re still in school, I highly recommend joining your school’s student publications staff. That’s the absolute best way to become a journalist. Also, write for your local paper, go to conferences and network with professionals, make a web portfolio on WordPress or Wix or SquareSpace, and do your research on journalism blogs like spj.org on what makes a good journalist.

To give you an idea of what to shoot for in your writing, here’s our writer’s guidelines: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/help/about-us/writers-guidelines.html.

Oh, and of course, keep reading CT! 🙂

Hope this helps.

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